A member of a hazardous waste clean-up crew walks to clean up a warehouse that was targeted during looting, in Durban, July 17 2021. Picture: REUTERS/ROGAN WARD
A member of a hazardous waste clean-up crew walks to clean up a warehouse that was targeted during looting, in Durban, July 17 2021. Picture: REUTERS/ROGAN WARD

The impact of violence and crime on SA’s investment case is the focus in this edition of Business Day Spotlight.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Kieran Fahy, CEO for BNP Paribas SA.

Attracting investment from foreigners has been a key part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic growth plan, which included an annual investment summit before lockdown. Foreigners make up a large contingent of investors in SA’s equities and bond markets.

However, foreigners worry about the safety of their capital and staff when it comes to considering SA as a destination.

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Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

Crime in SA is no secret, and is a reality of living in the country. Social issues resulting from high unemployment and a growing gap between the rich and poor, among a host of factors, have created this stark reality.

The Impact of Violence on Business survey — commissioned by BNP Paribas SA and its consumer finance arm, RCS —  shows “a direct correlation between unemployment and crime and the far-reaching effects of violence on local communities and businesses.”

The French bank also worked with the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative on the project.

Fahy highlights key findings from the study, including:

  • In 2021, incidents of physical violence increased from 38% in 2020 to 59%, while incidents resulting in physical injury have increased to 53% from 27% in 2020;
  • 80% reported feeling unsafe in their neighbourhood, an increase of 19% from 2020, with 53% of respondents having felt the effect of violence;
  • 90% of corporates said that community violence negatively affected the career growth of employees

While violence and crime can dissuade investment from local and international sources, Fahy says one of the biggest risks is the safety and wellbeing of employees. To this point, 78% of participants in the study reported being absent from work as a result of violence or crime, which hurts productivity for business, in addition to the trauma caused to victims.

Topics of discussion include: the effect of violence and crime on the economy and business; results from its latest study into the problem; how the study was conducted; the effect of violence on employee safety and business outcomes; and the effect of crime on the country’s investment case, as perceived by international investors.

Engage on Twitter at #BDSpotlight

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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